LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW)-- The teen whose disappearance led Lawrence Police to the body of Harold Sasko, 52, the owner of CiCi's Restaurants in Topeka and Lawrence, has been charged with first-degree murder, according to the Lawrence Police Dept.
Police Chief Tarik Khatib and Douglas Co. District Attorney Charles Branson made the announcement during a news conference Monday, adding that they have not ruled out other charges against McLinn. They still aren't sure about a possible motive, but do believe she was the only one responsible for Sasko's death.
Khatib said McLinn was found in a car registered to Sasko, reportedly illegally camping, at Everglades National Park. Authorities believe she went to Texas before heading to Florida. Sasko's dog Oliver is still missing.
Based on evidence collected at the scene, police say Sasko's death was premeditated. They believe McLinn subdued him before the murder and used an "edged device" to kill him.
Authorities also said nothing in their investigation indicates that McLinn was a victim. The investigation, though, is still ongoing.
According to a release, officers first saw Sasko through a window on Friday, January 17, when they went to his home searching for McLinn, whose family had contacted them after not hearing from her for three days. Entering the home, officers found he was deceased and had suffered several traumatic injuries.
After getting a search warrant and calling in off-duty investigators and crime scene investigators from the KBI, they spent the night searching Sasko's home. They also sent out a nationwide alert, asking for assistance finding McLinn and the Altima.
After more than a week of following leads both locally and in other states, they said Rangers with the Everglades National Park Service contacted Lawrence police about McLinn, who had been taken into custody on federal drug charges.
Detectives from the Lawrence Police Dept. flew to Florida where they reportedly interviewed her and verified that she wasn't hurt.
On Sunday, the District Attorney's officer requested and received a warrant for intentional premeditated first degree murder. Authorities in Florida have released their charges against McLinn and she is being held on the murder charge, awaiting extradition.
If she waives extradition, police expect her back in Kansas by as early as this week. If not, it could be a couple of months before she returns, they say.